Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To examine the sociology of urban life in the context of changes in society.


  • This module has two components.
  • The first, which will occupy about two thirds of the programme, is concerned with the way in which sociologists, geographers and cultural theorists understand 'the urban'.
  • Here we will look at the historical devlopment of urban life in terms of economic foundation, social arrangements and cultural responses.
  • Key areas to be considered will include the developmnt of 'world cities' in a globalized system of production, exchange, culture and migration, the internal order of cities, urban culture, and the governance of the urban.
  • In the second part of the module the actual development of policy relating to UKcities in recent years will be examined in relation to themes raised for heoretical consideration.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • by the end of this module students will:
  • Understand the contested nature of urban spaces
Subject-specific Skills:
  • by the end of this module students will be able to:
  • Relate developments in the urban sphere to wider sociological perspectives.
  • Evaluate trends within urban changes and development.
  • Relate insights developed from the knowledge of the urban to contemporary issues in social and public policy.
  • Employ both theoretical and empirical methodological expertise to issues of central concern to urban studies.
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able to demonstrate:
  • An ability to demonstrate a range of communication skills.
  • An ability to deploy and develop thinking about empirical and abstract concepts and issues.
  • An ability to engage in reasoned argument.
  • An ability to use IT resources, including interactive applications.
  • An ability to gather necessary information from a variety of sources both bibliographic and electronic.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is based on lectures and seminars and is structured around the learning outcomes above.
  • Lectures are designed to provide a broad framework by addressing major themes, ideas, issues and debates.
  • Students will be encouraged to develop their learning skills in relation to note taking, wider reading and further study, and time management.
  • Students will be encouraged and expected to be active participants in Seminars.
  • Assessment is by summative essay and a summative examination.
  • titles/questions will be oriented towards the learning outcomes.
  • These modes of assessment are intended to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of this area of study, and demonstrate their ability to draw on and use appropriate conceptual language.
  • Formative essays, given part way through the module, are designed to help students develop the skills and abilities required for summative work.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Total 200
Lectures 21 1 Per Week 1Hour 21
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 Hour 10
Preparation and Reading 169

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one two-hour written examination 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one assessed essay 1500-3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

2 essays of 1500-2000 words

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University